U.S. Stocks Extending Upward Move On Upbeat Earnings News

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Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Friday, extending the advance seen over the three previous sessions. With the continued upward move, the major averages are back within striking distance of last week's record highs.

Currently, the major averages all remain in positive territory. The Dow is up 133.40 points or 0.4 percent at 34,956.75, the Nasdaq is up 54.86 points or 0.4 percent at 14,739.45 and the S&P 500 is up 22.09 points or 0.5 percent at 4,389.57.

The continued strength on Wall Street partly reflects a positive reaction to upbeat earnings news from several big-name companies.

Shares of Snap (SNAP) are soaring after the Snapchat parent reported an unexpected second quarter profit on better than expected revenues.

Social media giant Twitter (TWTR) has also moved to the upside after reporting second quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates and providing upbeat revenue guidance.

Shares of American Express (AXP) have also jumped after the financial services company reported second quarter results that beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

On the other hand, shares of Intel (INTC) have come under pressure after the semiconductor giant reported better than expected second quarter results but provided disappointing guidance.

The largely upbeat earnings has contributed to early strength on Wall Street, although trading activity may wane as the day progresses.

A lack of major U.S. economic data may keep some traders on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting next week.

Despite the continued upward move by the broader markets, most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day.

Housing stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, however, with the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index climbing by 1.5 percent.

On the other hand, oil service stocks have moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 2.3 percent.

The weakness among oil service stocks comes amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil, as crude for August delivery is slipping $0.24 to $71.67 a barrel.

Gold stocks have also moved lower along with the price of the precious metal, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index falling by 1.4 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Friday, with the Japanese markets closed for a holiday. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.7 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved notably higher on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has surged up by 1.2 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.9 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed off their early lows but remain in negative territory. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.1 basis points at 1.286 percent.

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